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Old 06-20-2005, 08:12 PM #1
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Time to start college and pick a career path/field.. calling all engineers

I am 23, active duty Navy and I am going to enroll in college this fall. I have some credits from my navy training as well as a short stint at college before I joined up. I have always been interested in engineering. Construction to be exact. I am having trouble finding good info about engineering as a career. Could anyone recommend any books or websites? I know there are several engineers lurking on this forum.... COuld you help me out, give some insight or advice? I basically have all the money to go to college, Tuition assistance pays for 12 credits a year while on active duty, plus I have G.I. Bill 28,800 and I also have the Navy College Fund (40,000) so thats not a problem.

Any advice or assistance is appreciated!

Jake
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Old 06-20-2005, 09:02 PM #2
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I'm a EE major, so I can help somewhat, but probably not as much as a CE (major) would.. If you're interested in Construction, I would look into Civil Engineering, with an emphasis on structural. It would be the closest match. A lot of what CE's would do is survey, calculate loads/(external/internal forces) on roads/bridges/structures, etc. Studying soil and ground material is also part of it, yet I think more of a environmental specialty..

As for websites, I'm not really sure on websites regarding CE or ME stuff, as I do tend to concentrate on EE related things..
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Old 06-20-2005, 09:05 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by alpha
I'm a EE major, so I can help somewhat, but probably not as much as a CE (major) would.. If you're interested in Construction, I would look into Civil Engineering, with an emphasis on structural. It would be the closest match. A lot of what CE's would do is survey, calculate loads/(external/internal forces) on roads/bridges/structures, etc. Studying soil and ground material is also part of it, yet I think more of a environmental specialty..

As for websites, I'm not really sure on websites regarding CE or ME stuff, as I do tend to concentrate on EE related things..
I am really open to all advice and suggestions, EE is also interesting to me, I just have some construction back ground. EE just seems intemidating to me!
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Old 06-20-2005, 11:19 PM #4
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I have a degree in Mechanical - which isn't going to help you with Civil / Structural either - but can strongly recommend a CO-OP / Work Study program if you can find it. I went to a university that had a 4-Month School / 4-Month Work schedule. The work experience, the contacts, and the chance to make some money can't be beat.

I also got a 2 Year Tech Diploma before I did the full degree - gives you something to fall back on if things change in couple years, and helps you decide if you really like what you've chosen.

Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:23 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Boaz
I am really open to all advice and suggestions, EE is also interesting to me, I just have some construction back ground. EE just seems intemidating to me!
My recommendation, maybe try general engineering. If you don't mind spending a while on school, maybe try a major for a semester and then jump engineering fields and see what you like best. I'd also look into architecture if you like that.. or you could take a class in each field, and see how you like it from there. Thing with that is, there are core requirements, and you typically don't get into the actual field classes until after at least a year. But if you get the core out of the way, you can spend a semester taking different classes and see what you like best. IMO, you don't really get a feel for EE until you take a Circuits course, CE is introduced in a Statics course, and ME is introduced in Dynamics.

A lot of EE is theory. I love theory, and EE fits me. I do like the practical too though. I love hands on learning and hands on work. But I also like theoretical physics and math, and a lot of the theory behind EE concepts.

EE is intimidating, but don't let it inhibit you from trying it. It's said to be the toughest engineering field. But if you like it, and you're good at it, you'll succeed. I suggest you try a class in it at least, if not try the field to start. Once you go through a class, you'll get a good feel for it. Like I said above, I don't think you get a feel for EE until you've taken a Circuits course; I say this because I didn't really get a feel for it until I took a Circuits course this past semester. It's where I really got to study circuits, and build them in lab, and just have fun building them.

As for EE websites, I get this magazine from IEEE every month and I get most of my info from that. I also get e-mails from SAE and IEEE. As for internet info, I just get it from reading articles that are about something new in technology, ranging from cars to computers to power to etc...

You could try the different engineering organization websites. I don't really know how much info they have since I don't really ever visit them. IEEE (Electrical and Computer), ASCE (Civil), ASME (Mechanical)

As for books, only books I ever really read on the subject are textbooks. I do read some magazine articles from time to time from non-engineering magazines. I've also read stuff about Bioengineering and nanotechnology from non-engineering related magazines.

Any specific questions? I'll be going into my third year, so I can answer some hopefully..

hope this helps some..
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:58 AM #6
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In the engineering area, you'd be looking at civil engineering. If you were looking outside of engineering, the college I work for at Texas A&M has a Construction Science degree that approaches "construction" from the architecture point of view...

here's the link to the college
or
here's the link to the construction science program

the construction science program offers: Bachelor of Science in Construction Science and, on the graduate level, a Master of Science in Construction Management.

personally, I went the engineering route, but in computer science... But have had lots of friends go the construction science route...just a few the civil eng route. But lemme tell ya, the friends that went the civil engineering way knew their stuff when they were done!
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Old 06-21-2005, 01:39 AM #7
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Civil/Construction engineering is probably a better choice than Electrical. Electrical Engineering jobs are rapidly being outsourced to other countries.
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:46 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by dcampen
Civil/Construction engineering is probably a better choice than Electrical. Electrical Engineering jobs are rapidly being outsourced to other countries.
If he has any type of DOD clearanace from the Navy, he can get a great job in any engineering field.

Civil at my alma mater:

http://www.cee.vt.edu/index.php?cat=course

If you like Civil Eng, you may want to look for a university with an Architecture program. There may be dual degree/study options.

I did Computer Engineering.
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:03 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluto
If he has any type of DOD clearanace from the Navy, he can get a great job in any engineering field.

Civil at my alma mater:

http://www.cee.vt.edu/index.php?cat=course

If you like Civil Eng, you may want to look for a university with an Architecture program. There may be dual degree/study options.

I did Computer Engineering.
awesome! I will check that out. I need to piece together an associates degree right now... cleps and miltary training has me pretty close to a A.S. degree right now!
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